Welcome to week 3 of the ‘The State of the Miami Dolphins'! This week I have the privilege of welcoming two more members of thephinsider community - Celticwar17 and NickCallaway. Lets hear what they had to say about all things Dolphins-related.
So without further ado, lets kick things off with Celticwar17. Are you optimistic for the upcoming season and, if so, why?
The Dolphins have done a ton of moves this off-season, whether it was letting people go, not signing them, signing them, or drafting them this team coming into the 2013 season will definitely be different. Almost all parts of team are on some level a mystery, the defensive line is about the only part that wasn't much of a change and is going to be something we can count on to show up in September. After saying that though... all the signs are great. There is real potential for every part of the team to be elite. Seeing the couching staff, seeing the players, seeing how well we did last year all points towards that we are going to do better this year. Even the most pessimistic among us, I feel, should recognize that the moves done in the off-season could turn out really great; and I believe they should turn out really great. If they don't, I think, there would be a problem with players not playing up to their potential; not the lack of talent.
In the media recently, many commentators are predicting a break-out season for our quarterback, Ryan Tannehill. Do you agree?
It's hard to predict such a thing. It's not the same type of prediction as, "Arron Rodgers is going be a top 5 quarterback next year." Tannehill is still not proven, we don't have the hard evidence of him being the next Dan Marino or the next Chad Henne. But what we do have is all the intangibles, all the potential, his physical ability to show us that he is going to be an elite quarterback. So I think people are right in predicting a break-out season for Tannehill. Everything shows that it's going to happen. On paper, Tannehill should be the most improved quarterback in the league. If it doesn't happen, I would have no idea what to think other than give him more time. With everything Tannehill has, he is worth the risk of putting all our eggs in one basket for the next few years, It all comes down to his mental toughness in big game situations and mental endurance to keep consistent through the grind of the regular season.
Next up is NickCallaway. How do you think the loss of Reggie Bush will affect the team? Do you believe our young running backs can step up to the plate?
Reggie was a great acquisition by Ireland back in 2011. However, he was not used the way he should have, especially last season. He can be such a dynamic, multi-talented player when healthy. It really disappointed me that we didn't take advantage of him more. Because of this, I think losing him to Detroit will not be a big loss from an on-the-field standpoint. He was a great leader, but we had a bunch of those type of guys that are all gone now. Clearly that isn't a priority for Philbin and Co. I'm extremely confident that the trio of Miller, Thomas, and Gillislee can step up and replace him. Miller seems to be exactly what the team is looking for in a running back. Thomas has been a disappointment, but I'm not ready to write him off. And as a Florida Gator fan, I was able to watch all of Gillislee's game last year. He can do it all, and I wouldn't be surprised if he stepped up and gets a solid amount of carries this year. As it stands now, I'm not worried about our backfield heading into the season.
Are you comfortable with our offensive line? Will Jake Long be a big loss, or do you think Jonathan Martin can fill the void?
Before the signing of Clabo I was very, very worried about our offensive line. However, now that he is maning the right tackle position, I'd say I'm mildly comfortable. I expect our line to be Martin-Incognito-Pouncey-Jerry-Clabo. I've seen better, but there are certainly teams worse off than us. Our depth is impressive though, with Thomas, Samuda, Louis, Garner, and Yeatman all being potential starters or capable replacements. While I don't think Martin can compare to a healthy Jake Long, I think he can fill the void admirably. Plenty of tackles have seen major growth from their rookie to sophomore seasons, and I see no reason why Martin can't do the same.
Finally, where do you guys see the Dolphins finishing in 2013?
I think that Miami will finish with a 10-6 record. The main reason why I believe this is because I think we are going to have a better team then we did last year. Our coaches and players surpassed most peoples expectations last year and I think they will do the same this year. I trust in the coaching staff and Joe Philbin. He seems to be gathering the team up to do something really great and instilling ambition in each one of the players on the team to be some great. I think this is the key to a successful season. I honestly believe we are a more talented team this year on both sides of the ball. Sure, we lost some key players, but all those players were not signed back for a reason... they weren't all what they were cracked up to be.
I can see anything from 5-11 to 11-5. After looking at our schedule, I think we should finish 10-6 (losses to Indianapolis, Atlanta, New Orleans, and at New England, as well as two more to random teams that we should've beat). That should be good enough to get into the playoffs as a wild card team. We may win a playoff game, but I don't see us going much farther this year. We've added some great pieces and have a really talented roster. With Tannehill as the franchise quarterback, I see a bright future in Miami.
Thank you very much to Celticar17 and NickCallway for taking the time out to share their views on the Miami Dolphins. Do you agree with what they had to say? Now it's time to hear YOUR thoughts.
As always, for next week's edition, please comment below by writing ‘I'm in', and be sure to email me so that I can get those questions over to you. We want to hear from you!